Meet Our Board

April Young –  President

April Young is the Director of the Rutherford County Library System. April has a passion for helping people. She truly delights in the daily interaction with the people she meets. April enjoys the chance to introduce readers of all ages to new things. Over the last three years she has helped organize and expand library programs, enhancing educational offerings at the library for all ages to better serve the community. April believes that there is no place better to water your mind than your own public library. She has over five years of experience from the Hoke County Public Library in the Sandhills of North Carolina where she served as the Children’s Services Librarian and helped introduce many new young readers to the world of adventure, mystery, drama and the sciences, an ability that has grown to include readers of all ages. April served with honor in the US Army where she acquired many skills and most beneficial, how to work with multiple types of people and learners. April has an MLS from North Carolina Central University and a Bachelor’s in Special Education and History. Two of April’s children currently attend LLCA and greatly enjoy the active learning environment.


Russ Meade – Vice President

Russ Meade and his family moved to the Lake Lure community in 1990. A native New Yorker he moved to our community because of the quality of life and community spirit so evident in our town. Both his daughters, Missy and Suzy graduated from Rutherford County schools. He is a graduate of St. John’s Law School in NY City. He is extremely active in all community groups and is the founder of the Lake Lure Hiking Group. After a career as an attorney, he now is a college Professor. He is a guest speaker and presenter at numerous conference across the United States. When he is not working Russ enjoys hiking and traveling. So far he has traveled to over 62 nations. He is an active advocate for the Lake Lure Classical Academy with three of his grandchildren enrolled.


Sam Karr – Treasurer

Sam Karr, Finance Director for the Town of Lake Lure, oversees the financial record keeping of the town and ensures the maintenance of a central accounting system for the town’s government in a manner consistent with established and accepted municipal accounting principles and practices. The finance department also prepares and monitors the annual budget.  Sam joined our board in July 2014 and began his service as our Treasurer.


Mary Jaeger-Gale – Secretary

Mary joined the Chimney Rock Park team in 1981 as Sales and Public Relations Director after having taught school for 10 years in MI, GA and Flat Rock, NC.

As Marketing Manager and later VP of Marketing for the Park, she oversaw the company’s research-based marketing program which includes advertising, sales, public relations, promotions, web development, children’s programming and special events. As a member of the Park’s Strategic Leadership Team, Mary helped craft an agreement with NC State Parks and Recreation to form a public-private partnership to continue to manage Chimney Rock when the privately-owned attraction was sold to the State in May 2007. At that time, she assumed the duties of General Manager of Chimney Rock Management, LLC, the management group that currently operates Chimney Rock, the focal point of the still-developing Chimney Rock State Park, for the State of NC.

Mary is active in organizations and serves on committees that not only promote the Park, but help to forge partnerships within the state and the region. She has held leadership positions in Blue Ridge Mountain Host, the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce, the Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority, HandMade in America, the Southern Highlands Attractions Association, the Southeast Tourism Society and the federally-designated Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Mary has served on the boards of the North Carolina Travel Industry Association and the U.S. Travel Association’s National Council of Attractions. She currently serves on the board of the Chimney Rock Village Development Association, the Friend’s of Hickory Nut Gorge, the Chimney Rock Village Fire Department’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation and the Foothills Conservancy of NC and is a member of the Advisory Committee for Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Hospitality Education Department.  Mary and her husband, Steve, live in Bat Cave, NC.   Mary is a founding board member of LLCEF.


Lynn Carnes 

Lynn Carnes runs her own leadership development firm, Carnes & Associates, Inc. and is also on the faculty of Stop at Nothing.  She has over twenty five years experience in leading people, managing change projects, developing leaders and client management.  Locally, she owns and manages Mystic Waters, a 162 acre leadership retreat center.  She is also on the boards of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Lake Lure Education Foundation.  When she is not traveling, she enjoys water skiing, hiking, watercolor painting and pottery.  Lynn is a founding board member of LLCEF.


Dr. Cary Hatton

Dr. Cary Hatton enjoyed a long career as an educator, clinical counselor, and consultant prior to retiring and moving to Lake Lure in early 2016.

She has taught in settings as varied as junior high school, community college, and several universities in Ohio at the BA, masters and doctoral level.

She has also created and conducted a wide range of seminars and workshops.  Dr. Hatton also began her counseling career in a junior high school setting. Following her doctoral work, she moved into the community mental health system, providing individual, group and family therapy. She began consulting and training services shortly thereafter, both within mental health settings and with other service-oriented organizations.

She has previously served on a number of youth- and family-focused Boards and chaired the Board of Directors for Womanline, a non-profit dedicated to meeting the needs of women with a history of abuse. She continues to relish the opportunity to develop original and resourceful resolutions for individual and organizational challenges.


Esther Lusk

Esther Lusk is a graduate of Davidson College and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Montclair State University in New Jersey. A native North Carolinian, her connection to Lake Lure dates back to 1971, and she has lived here permanently for three years. She is committed to public service as is evidenced by her positions over the years on various boards of directors/trustees including a school, an arboretum, a church, the League of Women Voters, the Junior League, and a volunteer first aid squad, on which she also served as captain.

She is excited to be a part of the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation as a way to participate in the long-term stewardship of the community that she has loved so long. Esther is the current president and newsletter editor of the Lake Lure Lakefront Owners Association.


Todd Morse 

For over 21 years, Todd Morse managed his family’s 4th generation business, Chimney Rock Park, before selling to the state of North Carolina in 2007.   His responsibilities included development and implementation of yearly operating budgets and plans that included marketing, operations, retail, food & beverage, and education while leading a corporate culture centered on integrity, service, stewardship, teamwork, growth and fun.  Having served in leadership positions in numerous area boards and committees, he has energetically worked toward improving the region’s educational programs, environment, tourism industry and more.  He and his wife, Melinda, live in Lake Lure and are actively involved with supporting their local school, Lake Lure Classical Academy.  Todd is a founding board member of LLCEF.


Carol Pritchett

Carol Pritchett and her husband moved from Houston, Texas, in 2011 to build a permanent home on Lake Lure. Mrs. Pritchett has over 30 years of experience as a healthcare executive in both short term acute care and long term care. She has a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of Dallas. She recently retired from her position as Vice President of Operations for a national healthcare company. While in Houston, Carol served for three years as both a member and president of the Advent Episcopal School Board. She has experience guiding a new school through the many challenges it faces, including census and curriculum development.


Jim Rhodes 

Over the last 30+ years Jim has served as a business owner, CFO, Controller, and Staff Accountant for a regional CPA firm.  Jim currently provides strategic accounting and management solution consulting to corporations, partnerships and nonprofit organizations threw out the southeastern United States.  For the last 20 years, Jim was the CFO and partner in a large multi-corporate service industry holding company. Jim and his family and arefull-time residents in Lake Lure and his daughter attends the high school at Lake Lure Classical Academy.  Additionally, Jim is the Treasurer of the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation and a founding board member of the Lake Lure Community Educational Foundation.  Jim previously served as the Treasurer for an Educational Foundation in Florida and was a founding member of the Gold Shield Foundation.